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Thursday, September 20, 2012
Benavidez: Skill-wise, it's not even close

By Franklin McNeil

TORONTO -- If confidence should determine the outcome of Saturday night’s UFC flyweight title bout, then Joseph Benavidez has already won. The former top bantamweight contender didn’t skip a beat Wednesday when revealing the reason he'll defeat Demetrious Johnson at UFC 152.

“I hold all the advantages,” said Benavidez, who is ranked No. 1 among 125-pound fighters by ESPN.com. “The only advantage he has is speed. His main thing is to run around and bounce around. Other than that you are going to see me dominating the fight.

“I get better at everything, and he has a tiny speed advantage ... but he’s not going to have a huge speed advantage. So if I’m better at everything else, like I have been getting -- boxing, wrestling and have more power -- and he’s barely faster than me, his small advantage isn’t going to hold up to the bigger advantages that I have.”

Benavidez believes as the five-round fight wears on, Johnson will eventually slow down. At that point, Benavidez expects to put the finishing touches on claiming the promotion’s inaugural flyweight title.

But in the event that Johnson doesn’t gas, Benavidez is more than prepared to win by unanimous decision.

“When I visualize [how the bout will go], I see myself finishing him,” Benavidez said. “That’s what I work for; I work as hard as I can for 25 minutes.

“I look at it as this guy just has to survive for 25 minutes; he’s in there trying to stop me for 25 minutes. I obviously see a finish, but I’m also prepared to go the hardest 25 minutes of my life. And I know I can do that.”